Corporate Security Responsibility: The Role of Transnational Corporations in Conflict Zones


In the last two decades, corporations from various industry sectors have come under criticism for their operations in conflict zones. Some examples include oil industry operations in Nigeria, mining companies in the Democratic Republic Congo and private military companies in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time, there has been an increasing expectation within political discourse that corporations contribute to conflict prevention, peace-making and consolidation.

The behavior of corporations in conflict regions

Peace and conflict research has thus far devoted little attention to the potentially positive role that corporations could assume in conflict zones. This was the assumption on which the research project “Business in Zones of Conflict” was based, which was carried out from 2005 to 2011.
Within this project, researchers produced four case studies, which were, in part, based on field research in conflict zones, analyzing the behavior of corporations in different industries. These included: (1) oil companies in Nigeria, (2) corporations from the food and beverage industry in the Great Lakes Region (Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo), (3) tourism companies in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and (4) logistics companies in Northern Ireland.


Indirect rather than direct engagement

The findings showed that corporations do not directly contribute to the provision of peace and security; on the contrary, they shy away from such forms of engagement as they consider this task to belong to the state. On the other hand, corporations do indirectly contribute to peace and security in a variety of ways, such as through development projects at the local level or through anti-corruption measures.
A number of factors foster these forms of corporate engagement, including the general trend towards corporate social responsibility and critical activities carried out by civil society. Additionally, proactive policies in the home state and the availability of reliable public partners also exert influence on corporate behavior in the respective conflict zones.

1
Empirical Assessment of (Policy) Effectiveness – The Role of Business in Zones of Conflict | 2017

Coni-Zimmer, Melanie/Wolf, Klaus Dieter (2017): Empirical Assessment of (Policy) Effectiveness – The Role of Business in Zones of Conflict, in: Kruck, Andreas/Schneiker, Andrea (eds), Researching Non-state Actors in International Security. Theory and Practice, London: Routledge, 204-221, www.routledge.com/(...).

Show details

2
Corporate Social Responsibility zwischen globaler Diffusion und Lokalisierung | 2014

Coni-Zimmer, Melanie (2014): Corporate Social Responsibility zwischen globaler Diffusion und Lokalisierung. Britische und chinesische Ölindustrie im Vergleich, Studien der Hessischen Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung, Bd. 25, Baden-Baden: Nomos, https://www.nomos-shop.de/(...).

Show details

3
Reisen für den Frieden?  | 2012

Susanne Fischer, Reisen für den Frieden? Engagement von Unternehmen der Tourismusbranche in Israel und den Palästinensischen Gebieten, Studien der Hessischen Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung (Bd.12), Baden- Baden (Nomos), 2012.

Show details

4
Unternehmen als Friedensmacher?  | 2012

Andreas Haidvogl, Unternehmen als Friedensmacher? Zur Rolle privatwirtschaftlicher Akteure im nordirischen Friedensprozess, Studien der Hessischen Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung (Bd.13), Baden-Baden (Nomos), 2012. 

Show details

5
Business in Zones of Conflict: | 2011

Deitelhoff, Nicole/Wolf, Klaus Dieter (2011): Business in Zones of Conflict:. An Emergent Corporate Security Responsibility?, in: Voiculescu, Aurora/Yanacopulos, Helen (eds), The Business of Human Rights. A Rights-based Approach to Corporate Responsibility, London/ New York: Zed Books, 166-187.

Show details

6
Vom Business Case zum Public Case? | 2011

Klaus Dieter Wolf/Sandra Schwindenhammer, Vom Business Case zum Public Case? Der Beitrag privater Selbstregulierung zu Global Governance, in: Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik, 1/2011, S. 10-28.

Show details

7
Global Governance and Corporate Responsibility in Conflict Zones | 2011

Moira Feil, Global Governance and Corporate Responsibility in Conflict Zones, Houndmills (Palgrave Macmillan), 2011.

Show details

8
Unternehmen als Normunternehmer | 2011

Klaus Dieter Wolf, Unternehmen als Normunternehmer: Global Governance und das Gemeinwohl, in: Klaus Günther (Hg.), Recht ohne Staat? Zur Normativität nichtstaatlicher Rechtsetzung, Frankfurt a. M./New York (Campus), 2011, S. 101-118.

Show details

9
Der Beitrag privater Selbstregulierung zu Global Governance | 2011

Klaus Dieter Wolf/Sandra Schwindenhammer, Der Beitrag privater Selbstregulierung zu Global Governance, in: Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik (zfwu) Jg. 12, Nr. 1, 2011, S. 10-28.

Show details

10
Chartered Companies | 2010

Klaus Dieter Wolf, Chartered Companies: Linking Private Security Governance in Early and Post Modernity, in: Nicole Deitelhoff/Klaus Dieter Wolf (Hg.), Corporate Security Responsibility? Corporate Governance Contributions to Peace and Security in Zones of Conflict, Houndmills (Palgrave Macmillan), S. 154-176, 2010.

Show details

11
Travelling for Peace | 2010

Susanne Fischer, Travelling for Peace: The Role of Tourism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, in: Nicole Deitelhoff/Klaus Dieter Wolf (Hg.), Corporate Security Responsibility: Corporate Governance Contributions to Peace and Security in Zones of Conflict, Houndmills (Palgrave Macmillan), S. 130-153, 2010.

Show details

12
Walking the Extra Mile | 2010

Andreas Haidvogl, Walking the Extra Mile: Corporate Contributions to the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, in: Nicole Deitelhoff/Klaus Dieter Wolf (Hg.), Corporate Security Responsibility: Corporate Governance Contributions to Peace and Security in Zones of Conflict, Houndmills (Palgrave Macmillan), S. 106-129, 2010.

Show details

13
Calling on Peace | 2010

Linda Wallbott, Calling on Peace: The International ICT Sector and the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in: Nicole Deitelhoff/Klaus-Dieter Wolf (Hg.), Corporate Security Responsibility: Corporate Governance Contributions to Peace and Security in Zones of Conflict, Houndmills (Palgrave Macmillan), S. 85-105, 2010.

Show details

14
Oil Companies in Nigeria | 2010

Coni-Zimmer, Melanie (2010): Oil Companies in Nigeria. Emerging Good Practice or Still Fuelling Conflict?, in: Deitelhoff, Nicole/Wolf, Klaus Dieter (eds), Corporate Security Responsibility: Corporate Governance Contributions to Peace and Security in Zones of Conflict, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 58-84.

Show details

15
Here's to Peace! | 2010

Moira Feil, Here's to Peace! Governance Contributions by Companies in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, in: Nicole Deitelhoff/Klaus Dieter Wolf (Hg.), Corporate Security Responsibility: Corporate Governance Contributions to Peace and Security in Zones of Conflict, Houndmills (Palgrave Macmillan), S. 26-57, 2010.

Show details

16
Corporate Security Responsibility? | 2010

Deitelhoff, Nicole/Wolf, Klaus Dieter (eds), (2010): Corporate Security Responsibility? Corporate Governance Contributions to Peace and Security in Zones of Conflict, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

Show details

17
Private Security and Military Companies | 2010

Deitelhoff, Nicole (2010): Private Security and Military Companies. The Other Side of Business and Conflict, in: Deitelhoff, Nicole/Wolf, Klaus Dieter (eds), Corporate Security Responsibility? Corporate Governance Contributions to Peace and Security in Zones of Conflict, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 177-201.

Show details

18
Business in Zones of Conflict and Global Security Governance | 2010

Deitelhoff, Nicole/Feil, Moira/Fischer, Susanne/Haidvogl, Andreas/Wolf, Klaus Dieter/Coni-Zimmer, Melanie (2010): Business in Zones of Conflict and Global Security Governance. What has been Learnt and Where to from Here?, in: Deitelhoff, Nicole/Wolf, Klaus Dieter (eds), Corporate Security Responsibility? Corporate Governance Contributions to Peace and Security in Zones of Conflict, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 202-226.

Show details

19
The Role of Business in Global Governance | 2010

Annegret Flohr/Lothar Rieth/Sandra Schwindenhammer/Klaus Dieter Wolf, The Role of Business in Global Governance. Corporations as Norm-Entrepreneurs, Basingstoke/Houndmills (Palgrave Macmillan), 2010.

Show details

20
Emerging Patterns of Global Governance | 2008

Klaus Dieter Wolf, Emerging Patterns of Global Governance. The New Interplay between the State, Business and Civil Society, in: Andreas Georg Scherer/Guido Palazzo (Hg.), Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship. Cheltenham/UK, Northampton/MA (Edward Elgar) 2008, S. 225-248.

Show details

21
Bad Guys, Good Guys, or Something in between? | 2008

Moira Feil/Susanne Fischer/Andreas Haidvogl/Melanie Zimmer, Bad Guys, Good Guys, or Something in between? Corporate Governance contributions in zones of violent conflict, PRIF Report No. 84, Frankfurt/M., 2008.

Download publication // Show details

22
The UN Global Compact in Sub-Saharan Africa | 2007

Melanie Zimmer/ Lothar Rieth/Ralph Hamann/Jon Hanks, The UN Global Compact in Sub-Saharan Africa: Decentralisation and Effectiveness, in: The Journal of Corporate Citizenship Nr. 28, 2007, S. 99-112.

Show details

23
Corporate Security Responsibility | 2007

Klaus Dieter Wolf/ Nicole Deitelhoff/ Stefan Engert, Corporate Security Responsibility. A Conceptual Framework for Comparative Research, in: Cooperation and Conflict, 2007, 42: 3, S. 295-321.

Show details

24
Public Private Partnerships in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit | 2007

Lothar Rieth/ Melanie Zimmer, Public Private Partnerships in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit - Wirkungen und Lessons Learnt am Beispiel des GTZ/AVE Projektes, in: Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik, Nr. 2, 2007, S. 217-235.

Download publication // Show details

25
Die Effektivität von Public-Private Partnerships | 2007

Carmen Huckel/ Lothar Rieth/ Melanie Zimmer, Die Effektivität von Public-Private Partnerships, in: Andreas Hasenclever/ Klaus Dieter Wolf/ Michael Zürn (Hg.), Macht und Ohnmacht internationaler Institutionen, Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag, 2007, S. 115-144.

Show details

26
The Potential and Limits of Governance by Private Codes of Conduct | 2007

Klaus Dieter Wolf/ Thomas Conzelmann, The Potential and Limits of Governance by Private Codes of Conduct, in: Jean-Christophe Graz/Andreas Nölke (Hg.), Transnational Private Governance and its Limits, London (Routledge), S. 98-114.

Show details

27
Doing Good While Doing Well? | 2007

Thomas Conzelmann/ Klaus Dieter Wolf, Doing Good While Doing Well? Potential und Grenzen grenzüberschreitenderprivatwirtschaftlicher Selbstregulierung, in: Andreas Hasenclever/ Klaus-Dieter Wolf/ Michael Zürn (Hg.), Macht und Ohnmacht internationaler Institutionen, Frankfurt (Campus Verlag), 2007, S. 145-175.

Show details

28
Unternehmen als Normunternehmer? | 2006

Klaus Dieter Wolf, Unternehmen als Normunternehmer? Staatsversagen und private Selbstregulierung, in: Schriftenreihe der Schwäbischen Gesellschaft, 2006, S. 5-22 und S. 52-56.

Show details

29
Private Actors and the Legitimacy of Governance Beyond the State. Conceptional Outlines and Empirical Explorations | 2006

Klaus Dieter Wolf, Private Actors and the Legitimacy of Governance Beyond the State. Conceptional Outlines and Empirical Explorations, in: Arthur Benz/Ioannis Papadopoulos (Hg.), Governance and Democratic Legitimacy: Transnational, European, and Multi-Level-Issues, London (Routledge) 2006, S. 200-227.

Show details

30
Wählen lassen bis es passt? | 2006

Susanne Fischer, Wählen lassen bis es passt? Demokratieförderung und Terrorismusbekämpfung in den palästinensischen Gebieten, HSFK-Standpunkte, Nr. 5/2006, Frankfurt/M.

Download publication // Show details

31
Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Selbststeuerung als gemeinwohlverträglicher politischer Steuerungsform | 2005

Klaus Dieter Wolf, Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Selbststeuerung als gemeinwohlverträglicher politischer Steuerungsform, in: Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik, Jg. 6, Nr. 1, 2005, S. 51-68.

Show details

32
Umwelt, Konflikt und Prävention | 2005

Moira Feil/Alexander Carius/Aike Müller, Umwelt, Konflikt und Prävention. Eine Rolle für Unternehmen? Adelphi Report 02/05, Berlin (Adelphi Research), 2005

Show details

33
Transnational Corporations and Conflict Prevention | 2004

Lothar Rieth/Melanie Zimmer, Transnational Corporations and Conflict Prevention: The Impact of Norms on Private Actors, Tübinger Arbeitspapiere zur Internationalen Politik und Friedensforschung, Nr. 43, 2004.

Show details

Donors

German Foundation for peace Research (DSF)
German Foundation for peace Research (DSF)
www.bundesstiftung-friedensforschung.de/index.php/english
Fritz Thyssen Foundation
Fritz Thyssen Foundation
www.fritz-thyssen-stiftung.de
Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders”, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders”, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
www.normativeorders.net/en